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Mularkey calls around to help road woes

11/24/2004 - Buffalo Bills

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Coach Mike Mularkey has come up with a
tasty solution to help solve the Buffalo Bills' road woes:
cheeseburgers.

Don't laugh. Mularkey said Wednesday he came up with the idea
after polling other NFL coaches to find out what they serve players
for lunch when making a long trip to the West Coast, as the Bills
do this weekend to play at Seattle on Sunday.

"Seriously. I called around," Mularkey said, naming
Philadelphia coach Andy Reid as one of the people he contacted.
"We're very similar to everyone else in terms of (travel)
schedule, but the one difference is cheeseburgers. So we thought,
`What the heck?"

Teams traveling to the West Coast arrive earlier than normal in
an effort to get acclimated to the time change. The Bills, for
example, plan to arrive just after noon Saturday, requiring the
team to add an extra meal to its itinerary.

Mularkey doubts something as simple as a cheeseburger will make
a difference.

"The only way we can fix things on the road is to win," he
said.

But it's clear the Bills will try every trick in the book to
turn around their terrible times on the road, where they've lost
all four games this season, and 10 of their last 11.

That trend will have to change if the Bills (4-6) intend to make
something out of their final stretch, in which they play four of
their last six on the road.

"I think it's more mental going on the road," defensive end
Chris Kelsay said. "We've struggled on the road, but we want to
change that around, get that monkey off our back and play like we
do at home on the road."

Buffalo has won four straight at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

In six home games, the Bills have outscored opponents 144-105.
But they've been outscored 78-36 on the road. They haven't mustered
more than 270 yards offense on the road, and their defense is
surrendering an average 311 yards, 45 more than at home.

Quarterback Drew Bledsoe has particularly struggled on the road,
where he's completed only three of his 12 touchdowns passes and
thrown nine of his 11 interceptions -- including seven in his last
two outings.

"There's no secret that we've got to win on the road. That's
been kind of an Achilles' heel for us for a while now," Bledsoe
said. "We need to come out and put some points on the board early,
kind of start taking the crowd out of the game."

Buffalo has opened the scoring once on the road and has been
outscored by a combined 54-6 in the first half this season.

The Bills hope they can carry over the momentum from their
dominating 37-17 win over St. Louis last Sunday.

It was a game in which Bledsoe enjoyed his first three-touchdown
game in almost two seasons, and in which the defense limited the
Rams' potent offense to 270 yards.

The Bills have also enjoyed success against NFC West teams,
having already beaten St. Louis and Arizona this season.

But the Seahawks (6-4) are 3-1 at home this season, including
last weekend's 24-17 win over Miami.

"It's an opportunity, and you have to step up for the
challenge," safety Lawyer Milloy said. "We know how to win at
home. Our next task is to start winning on the road."

Notes
CB Troy Vincent (right knee) did not practice and is
expected to miss his eighth straight game. ... WR Josh Reed (left
knee) practiced and could return after missing three games. ...
Milloy was named the AFC defensive player of the week after
registering a career-high three sacks and nine tackles against St.
Louis.